The Catholic bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand have published new guidelines for the country’s 235 Catholic schools to support young people with regard to sexual diversity. Source: NZCBC.
The guidelines make it clear that all young people in Catholic schools – including vulnerable rangatahi (young people) – are to be welcomed, supported and encouraged as they navigate their journey from childhood to adulthood and discover more who they are.
The guidelines, Aroha and Diversity in Catholic Schools, have been drafted by the Church’s National Centre for Religious Studies after comprehensive dialogue between the bishops, principals, national and diocesan Catholic education leaders and young people.
Bishop of Auckland Stephen Lowe, Secretary and Vice President of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference, said the bishops were well aware of the need to support school leadership and rangatahi in navigating the complex reality of sexual diversity.
“Young people today do not live in a bubble. They are aware, and inform themselves of the range of social, scientific, ideological and religious stances regarding this issue, and there is a lot of pressure and rhetoric about this issue. This challenges and can pressurise young people, their whānau, and schools and wider communities,” Bishop Lowe said.
He added that the guidelines clearly articulate the rich teaching of the Catholic Church and provide practical information and tools to help schools make informed decisions regarding the support of rangatahi who are grappling with issues around sexual diversity in the complexities of our modern world.
The Australian Bishops last month released a guide on gender and identity to support Catholic schools in responding to the individual social and pastoral needs of students, entitled Created and Loved: A guide for Catholic schools on identity and gender.
All rangatahi welcome and supported in new diversity guidelines for Catholic schools (New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference)
Bishops support Catholic schools with guide on gender, identity (ACBC Media Blog)